Friday, March 3, 2023

Special Military Operation

"Portrait of Peter" by Jean-Marc Nattier

What's astounding is the extent of Russian nationalism. A member of The Times Moscow bureau, interviewed on CNN reported that her interviews with average Russians indicated an overwhelming solidarity with the "special military operation," which is the now infamous euphemism. Further there have been reports (also onCNN) that the Wagner group has been recruiting teenaged boys from Moscow schools who will be prepared to make up for the huge losses that their military has incurred. A fifteen year old high school sophomore would be ripe for service in three years. Obviously Wagner, at least, sees the battle of attrition going on 3 years hence. The Russians are seasoned martyrs for the mother land when you consider that 27 million died during World War II. What accounts for this strong irredentist impulse that has infected even literary figures like Dostoevsky and accounts for the historical racism towards Ukrainians? Peter the Great of course championed Imperial Russia. Then the revolution brought about The USSR. Interestingly nationalism crossed warring ideologies and institutions. The Chinese show a similar inclination when it comes to what they perceive as fractious assertions of identity --for instance by the Uyghurs. If the Versailles Treaty ultimately brought about the Second World War, then Glasnost, Perestroika and Gorbachov might be regarded as hastening the rise of Putin's brand of ultranationalism. The causes are almost self-evident. What's harder to understand is the perseveration in an action, towards a hostile populace, whose victory could only be Pyrrhic, at best.

read Francis Levy's review of Fit NationThe East Hampton Star

and watch the trailer for Erotomania

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